Dependable, roomy, but a bit sluggish
The car had a loose cable in the dashboard at around 60,000 miles that would make a noise until it was fixed.
At 65,000 miles, the dummy light for the airbag went on and would never turn off. This repair cost $1,200.
I replaced the rotors at about 112,000 miles, but that was because I waited too long to replace the brake pads (and I abuse brakes pretty badly).
The tie rod was replaced at the same time the brakes were worked on.
After getting the brakes worked on, my car would make loud whistling noises on windy days and at speeds over 50 mph.
At around 116,000 miles, the speedometer started acting up. It would stay stuck at 30 mph until I got up to 45 or 50, and then the arm started swinging back and forth.
The struts started going at about 119,000 miles.
Around 120,000 miles, the timing belt went.
I loved this car! My parents bought it brand new in 1994, and it had good speakers and AC. Everything was in perfect shape when I bought it from them. The only thing is that I bought it for what they had to pay for getting that pesky dummy light to turn off!
A thing to keep in mind is that repairs to anything in an Escort's dashboard will be expensive due to how much labor it takes to even get to the broken part.
For a college student, this is the perfect car. It's a wagon, making it roomy, but you won't feel like you're driving a boat at all. Also, you can take it on those long trips pretty frequently and not worry about being stranded. I was only stranded once, at 120,000 miles, but that's not too bad for a high-mileage car.
The handling on this car is also good. For a wagon, it takes turns pretty well. Icy conditions are not a problem unless you have really bad tires.
My only complaint is that the 4 Cyl engine is slow. It does not accelerate very quickly. Big hills are it's worst enemy, especially while the AC is on! Don't plan on driving up any steep roads if you are running the AC.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd December, 2004